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The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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CNN

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02:00:00

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Libya 33, U.s. 31, Us 24, Jerusalem 16, Elizabeth Taylor 10, Cnn 9, United States 9, Benghazi 7, Boehner 6, Tokyo 6, Tripoli 6, Japan 5, Ben 5, France 5, Wesley Clark 5, Dennis Mcdonough 5, Syria 4, United Nations 4, Toyota 4, Ajdabiya 4,
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  CNN    The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    March 23, 2011
    5:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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dedicate his entire hour@(56- . >> thanks very much. thanks very much. the libyan moammar gadhafi showing no signs of retreat. at least not yet. jerusalem's first serious bombing in years, the latest, one person dead and dozens injured. the mayor standing by to join us live. new radiation fears in tokyo. stocking up on bottles of water after the japanese government warns that tap water is no longer safe for infants, i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the "situation room." in a span of 24 hours, the u.s. military said the coalition
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launched more than 50 strikes in the mission to protect libyan civilians. but no indication the battle is being over. just a short while ago the secretary of state warned gadhafi the quickest way to end it is for him to leave.<[kyk: . we2íor certainly encouraged the would make a right decision. not only institute a real co comprehensive cease-fire but withdraw from the cities and military abs and prepare for a transition that does not incl e
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include. >> there are serious reports of major clashes under way. what do we know about the fighting at this moment. >> you just heard secretary of state hillary clinton encouraging momammar gadhafi bu he's not backing down. a couple of major developments that shows that this conflict is far from over. anded stage is set from what could be a lengthy and complicated conflict. let's start with a strategically strategic city. then gadhafi forces took it over. when the momentum shifted back to the opposition forces and they came towards ajdabiya. they tried to take it over. but have been repelled. today they made significant headway, coming within a few miles of the key city.
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heavy fighting. nine people killed. six people injured according to a hospital official. let move to another key city east of tripoli. that's where witnesses say the gadhafi ra reegime placed snipen roof stops. hospital official telling cnn the situation is dire and two people have been killed. it's situationso4mÑ and develops like this that could fuel the criticism. it's already coming against this operation in question. whether in deed it will full fit its stated intention of ending the loss of civilian lives. >> threat to civilians. you're in tripoli.-2fn excuse me in benghazi, the second city in libya. city of 800,000 people. what are you seeing in ben gain
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benghazi? >> it's been peaceful. that's because of the forces and antiaircraft forces that are here are already taken out. you don't see that activity from allied forces. the column of tanks and armour. the forces making their way up here are now a porch of wrecked military vehicles. they've been turned into a virtual outdoor museum. thousands of local residents going out with their families and kids showing this these people are convinced if it weren't for the allied fors. if it weren't for operation they would have been shuttered. >> i saw hip in cairo last week. be careful over there. we'll stay in close touch with you. the mill b tear action is raising new questions about how
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much interaction is taking place right now between the coalition and rebel forces. let's go to our pentagon kornt barbara star. she's got more on this part of the story. it's not simple to under. it gets complicated. >> that's clear. on some way the opposition is growing. the question is how far will that interaction go? >> the u.s. insists cruise missiles and air strikes are only too protect civilians from the onslaught of gadhafi's fors but an interview with cnn fv the door for military support for the rebels. >> on the ground there may be much more going on behind the scenes. opposition are forces, chief of staff told cnn his troops haven't received weapons but are in contact with the coalition.
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>>. >> translator: of course we are coordinating 24 hours, whether french, italians or americans in this mission, the leaders in this mission, every air strike, we assure there are no civilians present at the time. we agreed on this condition. >> reporter: u.s. military officials say if there is communication on the strikes it's not official. >> while we have reports from people who are reported to be in the opposition. there is"ikyk=pñ official communication or formal communication with those in this so-called opposition that are opposing the regime's ground forces. >> reporter: u.s. and oh legs forces are only striking gadhafi ykykykykykykykyk8p6if they're,m# they will do more if orred by the president. flexibility may already exist. >> from the point of united nations resolution.
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it says any means necessary can be used to protects civilians. >> reporter: but the coalition's hands might be tied already. >> i would argue. are no longer covered under that protect civilian claus. >> reporter: now, president obama, appears to be relying on the hope the libyan people are disenchanted with gadhafi telling cnn. it's not a matter of military mite but instead, coming to the lib yap people that is time for change. >> once again, the u.s., pentagon, arming the rebels, whatjhç officials you are sayin? >> officially they are saying that's not happening. there's no indication that the white house or president obama has orred that. that would have to, of course, be something that would come directly from the white house.
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in fact, what they are saying is, somewhat of the opposite. if the rebels are armed with tanks and heavy weapons to some extent they have to look after themselves. let's be very clear. this is, as we've seen over the days a very fast-changing battle feel. everybody is maneuvering for position literally and political politically. we'll see over the coming days how this sorts out. >> we'll check in with you. barbara1b starrÑd)g== & about the u.s. role in this libya mission. our white house correspondent was first with the story. she's joining us now with details. what does the speaker really want, pre yawn na? >> he's raising lots of he starts off by saying he and
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otherw #;x question. speaker boehner said to president obama, you have stated that gadhafi has to go. he goes on to say the u.n. resolution, doesn't make change that it is not. in light of this. is it acceptable for gadhafi, kls1( dç kykykykykykykyÉ@ resolution inconsistent with stated goals and interests? aaaiu!mqaaaaa questions, more n a dozen that i counted. if the coalition evolves, if8q$$
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will that go on. and what will the cost estimate be? as you know, wolf. house speaker boehner, he says here that he respects the president's role as commander in chief but certainly raising all of these questions really goes to the heart of the decisions that president obama has made aÑ commander in chief, wolf. >> all of these questions, these are legitimate questions that the president should answer. i assume he's answer ato answer this them. we'll speak to the security adviser later. we'll pose some of the questions to see if dennis mcdonough has the answers. the president did invite congressional leaders in to join by phone or come physically to let them know what was going on. there was a little briefing in advance of the operation beginning. >> there was a briefing. one of the things and a part of
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the criticism we hear from speaker boehner in his letter he said it's regrettably no opportunity was afforded to consult with them. he makes a distinct, yes, congressional leaders and republicans were briefed friday before your decision was made. he was saying yes, we were briefed after the fact. i have to tell you that a number of brohm nant democrats. they came out today in a conference call and said this administration kept us well info informed. trying to counter some criticism coming from republicans. there is criticism coming as well. some liberals said they're uncomfortable with",-of1- thisf engagement. eastern liberal democrats who might be okay but said they wish
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congress would have been consulted. there's some bipartisan tension here between capitol hill and the add minneapolis station. . he was his work cut out for him. now that he's back. i'm sure he'll start focusing on this repairing that relationship with congress. thanks very much. >> president obama moments ago returned to the united states. as i said he's facing serious questions about the crisis in libya. is it time to address the nation from the oval office or go before a joint session of congress? plus, a deadly p working first in years. i'll speak with the mayor of jerusalem. and hollywood loses an icon, so does washington. you're sneezing. i'm allergic to you. doubtful, you love me. hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label.
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militaryo momar ga gaf mom momammar gadhafi is on jack cafferty's mind. >> we haven't done something like this kind of on the fly before, unquote. he was talking about the coalition attacks on ga cafe's forces in libya. why the united states was still in control. why tensions are prizing among
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members of the coalition. why there's no plan for any group or nation to take the lead. the allies in all of this are not getting along so well. in fact there are reports that the coalition is coming apart athe seams. france suggested a commit kwlte formed to oversee military operations. it would include members of the arab league. if the war is. >> ron: by commit kwlee, no one has to take responsibility if things go to hell. everybody can take credit if they go well. french of the early backers and were the first to launchary air strikes saturday. the italians accuse the french not to back nato operation. and it's not just the french that are causing problems. russia's defense minister weighed in calling for a cease-fire h libya.
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germany pulled nato ships out of Ñ disagreeme disagreement. it's not pretty. members of the arab league will meet and african union and see what if anything can be done at that time. here's the question. france wants a committee to run run it. post on my blog or go to c cnn.com/cafferty file. and let's talk with senior political analysts, joining us now. first of all, let's talk about the speaker's letter that was sent to the president. among other things, he write this, because of the conflicting messages from the coalition partners there's a lack of
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clarity over the objectives, what natural securityÑtá÷ initiatives are. the americann answers to these questions. all of these concerns point to a fundamental question. what is your benchmark for success in libya. david, i think it's fair to say the speaker has a good point. he wants to know what the u.s. strategy and policy is, he thinks democrats and republicans deserve answers. >> smart letter. he has a very good point. and i think it's a point we've been talking about for 24/48 hours on cnn. the president is almost back. i have to believe, wolf, within a matter of two, three days, he will doe what the speaker wants. that is address the company. >> he's got to invite at least congressional leadership into the white house but probably address the nation from thek!÷ l
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office. or go before joint session of congress. >> i think he does. what is interesting about the speaker's letter. i agree, i think it asked veryct legitimate and permanent questions, the speaker pointed out, you seem to have time to consults with the arab league. you had time to consult with united nations but didn't have time to consult with the congress. now, i know the add minneapolis station and some congressional democrats would disagree with that. clearly the point speaker boehner is making, you're so busy forming a coalition and getting everybody else's persons that you didn't get ours. start from there and you under why the president has to address the congress or meet with the congress at the very least, wolf. >> listen to what the president told cnn espanol juan carlos
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lopez. de scribe what you're trying to do against gadhafi. listen to this. >> you are absolutely right that gadhafi may try to hunker down and wait it out even in the face of a now-fly zone. even though his forces have been degraded. but keep in mind that we don't have military tools. at our disposal in terms of accomplishing gadhafi's leaving. we put in place strong international sanctions. we've frozen his assets. we will continue to apply a whole range of pressure on him. >> realistically. freezing his assets and imposing sangs on libya. will that convince gadhafi to step aside? >> realistically you hope it will but there are no guarantees. >> you know gadhafi. i don't think he's going to be
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scared by sanctions or freezing his assets. >> you know, we had a situation where5?# mubarak left under pressure. and situations like saddam hussein. places like nor yring nor egg had to go in and get him. >> that raises the question, is the u.s. going to have to go in and get gadhafi the way he got saddam hussein or noreyega. >> or, to what extent are we going to fund the rebels? it's one thing to fund them for humanitarian. when you're talking about regime change of getting rid of gadhafi
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which the is u.s. goal. getting back to spack are boehner, if u.s. policy is to remove gadhafi. i asked, you do have engagement strategy for the u.s. forces. >> that's a good question. we'll try to ask some questions of dennis mcdonough. we'll be joining us live. guys, thanks very much. a deadly crack down on syria just ahead and more troubling radiation tests results trigg triggering a run on bottled water japan. wrench? wrench.
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monitoring some of the other top stories in the "situation room," including developments, deadly unrest in syria, what's going on? >> witnesses say syrian security forces open fire on antigovernment protester killing 15 of them. syrian troops deny that. today, the president fired the governor of the province where pro testifies have been taking
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place for several days now. a man accused of trying to bomb a martin luther king pray in spoke cane is being arraigned in federal government. he's being charged with attempting of using a withen of mass destruction. the bomb was covered around the parade route on mlk day and disabled. the organization that monitors the groups said he visited white supremacist hate groups. and it's been a year since president obama signed health care reform bill into law. 37% of americans support it. while 59% oppose it. that's basically unchanged from last march when 39% supported the law and 59% opposed it. not a whole lot has changed in the last year. >> let's not forget. 59% oppose it. some oppose it because they think it's too conservative.
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it didn't go for the public option if you will. some oppose it because they think it goes far in creating socialist opposition. there's not opposition from the right to left. there's opposition from post sides. wppá's right. >> i don't know if the pole patrol cpoll broke it down. thanks very much for that. jerusalem right now on heightened alert after a deadly terrorist attack. the city's mayor joining us live from the "situation room." and moammar gadhafi's forces hammered by air strikes. they they able to do significant damage?
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president obama strongly con denning jerusalem's first serious p working in several years. the blacht which occurred near two buses killed one woman and injured 50 people. benjamin net an yau hu net our
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conlepss to the families of those who cover fr suffered. one family member. one person died but many injuries. do you know who was responsible for this bombing. >> thank you for the condolences. not yet. 99 fir 99% of the cases, jerusalem know how to isolate the terrorists. find them. we will go aggressively against them and their roots. on the other hand, we have to extremely fast go back to normal life. it's the best way to deal with terror. >> no one claimed responsibility for this act of terror yet, is that correct? >> true. there are a number of terrorist organizations that alawed this. it's like people believe in
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death. our values, my values, yours. it's pro lonning life. you see more and more terrorist organizations, seening terror, seeking death to scare -- it's a global effort these days. we -- the normal people of the world have to stand up for it. and promote life. isolate the problem and make sure that we move on with life as fast as possible. >> this was not a suicide bomber who did this. this seemed to be a relatively sophisticated operation. does it have the hallmarks of other similar terror atabs against targets in israel? >> well, it's an isolated event. as such this is the way we should view it. it's still being interrogated. naturally the security forces will not come out with any intermediate result before we catch the people that did this. we're having a marathon on
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friday here in jerusalem. the first international marathon with 10,000. >> ron:ers, over a thousand people from abroad. jerusalem seeks life -- jerusalem seeks beauty. we'll do our best effort to have the people that have come here from all over the world enjoy the city of jerusalem, enjoy the values of jerusalem and this is the way i believe we will stay and make jurnl -- stay on both. >> normally at the central bus station at jerusalem. they have a lot of close circuit cameras, video. do you know if they have video of the area that was bombed that might give an indication who planted this bomb. apparently a telephone booth. >> well, for the benefit of the interrogation. i believe the less we talk about it the better. i'm sure the security fors which are one of the best in the world, we're experienced. we all realize terror is a
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if there's any place as safe as any other city in the world that would be jerusalem and israel that knows how to deal with the situation. look at the countries along us. look at the countries around the world. i know we know how to deal with it. anned people that visit us the best security that one can provide. >> the prime minister, i should say, he condemned this as an act of terror. is there good cooperation between israeli security authorities and palestinian authorities right now in this investigation? >> well, to a certain degree, the biggest challenge we have is education. go to the schools. schools are not promoting life to the way i think we should if we want people to live peacefully. the challenge is not only what police fors are doing one with
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the other. but also how we teach other children. do we teach them to be martyrs or teach them to promote life. that's the biggest challenge we have in the middle east, working in an environment. it does not always teach and train and educate the next generation for real long-lasting peace. this is one of the biggest challenges we have. >> mayor, thanks very much for joining us. we'll check back with you i'm sure. our correspondent nic roberts just back from a tour in trip i tripoli. why he couldn't see the collateral damage he was told he would find and new radiation fears in tokyo. prommi prompting residents to stock up on bottled water and black eyed peas des nating their album to tokyo. members are asking their fans to help. >> i was just blown away.
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because we were just there. we were just with friends there in japan, walking around, filming our video in the beautiful streets of tokyo. ♪ >> this is, what, 1999? >> when we first went there we fell in love with japan. >> let's take ircare of those who lost family helps, those who are stranded who lost their parents. >> this video is dedicate the to japan and allity beauty and all of its people. what does it take to fly? it takes knowing we have our work cut out for us. but if you run before the wind you can't take off. you've got to turn into it. the thing you push against lifts you up. so, every challenge is a chance to show that even in this crazy world of no liquids and route cancellations
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123467 a disturbing sight at that nuclear plant in japan. black smoke rising from reactor number three. officials say radiation was released but it's unclear if that was linked to the smoke. meantime concerns are escalating after officials announce radioactive material in tap water exceeded the amount safe for infants. u.s. officials aren't taking any chances when it comes to potential radiation contamination of military equipment. martin savage all operations
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aboard the "uss ronald reagan." >> right now. every piece of machinery to move that aircraft is in the front of the "uss ronald reagan." you wonder why are they sitting around? we'll show you. water, lots and lots of water sprayed all over the deck right now in what is the biggest clean up effort you're likely to see at sea. now, earlier today, as part of this effort, up at the bowe bow, it got more incredible to watch as the crews went to work with foam and crush, music going. the question here is about safety. >> what we're doing is like decontaminating the ship. >> why this remarkable effort? you may remember on the 13th. this aircraft carrier and home helicopters bassed through the
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nuclear plant as a result of that there was limited exposure to the crew and the aircraft and possibly the ship. so this is designed to clean it. scrub it down. use brushes, foam. clear the surfaces and check it with machines such as geiger counters while keeping the crew in protective suits. it's extreme efforts but designed to keep the crew safe and keep the shift operational. >> and this just in. toyota plants here in the united states might be impacted from the japan disaster. let's get details from mary snow. what are you learning? >> toyota telling plants in north america to be prepared for a scheduled shut down because of parts shortages in japan. workers in 13 plants in the u.s., canada and mexico were given the news today.
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the smokes pon saying the company wants workers to be aware there will be impact to north american operations but it's unclear the kind of impact as yet how quickly it will come and how long it will last. toyota continues to get some parts from outside suppliers but not as many. there was impact last week when toyota announced it was cutting back on overtime as precaution to conserve parts from suppliers. >> this is only the beginning. thanks, mary for you that. >> in northern japan the death toll keeps climbing including an elementary school where we found a heartbreaking story of community in tears. and libya, rebel fors move further west. ♪ it works in six different ways to restore enamel, strengthen teeth,
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learn more at anga.us. there was some tracer fire a little while ago over tripoli. you can see a little of it going on. we're not exactly sure what's happening. but i did speak before this latest run of tracer fire with our senior international correspondent nic robertson. listen to this report. joining us, nic robertson. correspondent from tripoli still controlled by gadhafi's troops.
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nic. what happened? they took you on another tour? >> reporter: it didn't work. this was a trip to see civilian house where civilians were wounded be a strike. they said civil yaps were in a hospital. they said this was a house next to a military facility and installation. they told us we should be able to see everything, and if we wanted to see the family in the hospital we would do that as well. we drove around for about a half an hour. we couldn't find this house at all. we were in the neighborhood south of the city. we could see the area where the military installation was. we weren't allow to film that of course. because we were government oh figures. after all this time and local citizens weren't given help at all. they couldn't find this house and brought us back an hour later. despite telling us there's
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collateral damage. and a house was danieled in that collateral damage. they couldn't find it or show it to us. we can't say it didn't happen all of all these days, they are still not able to show us tangible evidence there had been such injuries, wolf. >> normally in the last several days sip the air strikes started. u.s., french, british they drop a bomb or tom hawk, the libyans respond with tracer fire, antiaircraft fire. correct me if i am wrong, most recently we haven't seen the libyan response, have we? >> we haven't. that's interesting. it was overnight last night why saw the transition. the ones we heard with 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m. local time. what was different we thought we harry the sound of aircraft flying over at the time we heard heavy detective nations and short bursts of gun fire.
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had libyan air defenses decided. they are not going to continue to spray gun fire into the air. they believe they would circle back or given reason not to fire the antiaircraft guns. it does mark a noticeable change. coalition commander saying the no-fly zone is in control. we hear the aircraft in the skies. libyans, not as much. it's noticeable transition. >> i call it a sound of silence. it suggests they don't have that capability anymore. whatever, nic, thanks very much. just update you a little while ago. there was a little tracer fire that once again reappeared but certainly nothing significant as it was day one, two, three and four as it was this coalition operation in libya.
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we're monetaryiitoring this ver carefully. we'll see what the libyans are up to. wesley clark will be joining us live to discuss this. deputy white house national security adviser dennis mcdonough joining us live as well. france wants a committee to run the war. is that a good idea? that's coming up. and we're asking one of the top advisers to the president. destined to shape our future. the jaguar xj. automobile magazine's 2011 design of the year.
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let's get back to jack for the cafferty file. jack? >> france wants a committee to run the war in libya. is that a good idea? brian in colorado says -- yeah, it's a good idea. it shows solidarity. let the allies figure this out for themselves. hopefully they'll decide to drop a missile on gadhafi himself. so this thing will come to a swift end. hal writes a committee, you've got to be kidding. a camel is a horse designed by a committee. we've done our part. we ought to tell the coalition you have 48 hours to take over.
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then we're gone whether you have something in place or not. norm writes this is the first conflict in recent history where nobody has a plan. nobody knows the players. nobody has an end game. we wasted a vast number of expensive missiles. where is the plan? p.m. writes, jack, how many people have to die before the coalition gets rid of the problem in libya? gadhafi must go, hopefully sooner rather than later. it's a great idea if you want to see the odyssey dawn crew. i can see it now. the wacky libyan dictator dies laughing. martin in west virginia, wow, i worked with a subsidiary of a french company for 15 years. this is so typical, not just of the french, but the europes in general. this is a bad, bad, bad idea.
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define the objective, put an american in charge, and get 'er done. dave in phoenix writes as long as we have to move out and let others have control, it sounds good to me. committee away. if you want to read more on this, find it on cnn.com/cafferty file. >> appreciate it. libya's air defense systems destroyed apparently. a close look at the dictator's arsenal coming up. and hollywood isn't the only town mourning the death of elizabeth taylor. uicken loans, we devote every second of every day figuring out how to give our clients a better mortgage. maybe that's why j.d. power and associates ranked us "highest in customer satisfaction in the united states." so, we thought we'd take a little time to celebrate. ♪ all right, then, back to work helping clients. individual attention from our highly-trained mortgage professionals.
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the nuclear crisis in japan is raising serious questions and concerns about the safety of nuclear power here in the united states. cnn's senior correspondent allan chernoff got an exclusive inside look at one plant and discovered earthquakes aren't the only potential threat to the reactors. >> heading into the nuclear core we get an exclusive look inside a refactpr that the governor of new york fears is one of the biggest potential dangers to the nation's most populous city. seismologists concluded the nuclear power plant sits near the intersection of two fault lines. the plant's manager says it's built to withstand a magnitude 6.0 earthquake.
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>> you believe this structure can withstand as much of a punch as mother nature will deliver. >> we bhooef it's designed to withstand as much of a punch is expected to happen within this area. that's correct. >> what about unexpected? >> well, unexpected, we believe it's greater than six it can handle. >> you think you could handle a seven? >> yes. >> far more likely is the risk of a severe hurricane. the plant's lowest critical equipment along the hudson river is 15 feet above sea level. >> flood levels are rising. what do you do? >> we shut the units down. we would sandbag everything we could. >> among the biggest potential dangers, a sustained power outage. in japan at the daiichi plant the backup generators failed. here they have backup generators. this is a back up to the backups.
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entering the pool area, we see how essential emergency power is. water needs to be pumped continuously to keep the fuel rods cool and covered. a long standing concern at indian point, a look in reactor number two ha happens when technicians replace fuel rods as they're doing now in the other refacttack reactor. >> as i said, we're working with a couple firms right now. there's a technique being used in germany we're trying to see if it will work here. >> officials at indian point say the leak is not a cause for concern and does not pose a safety hazard. allan chernoff, cnn, buchanan, new york. >> you're in "the situation room." happening now. we're watching several important developments, including allied air strikes. they're targeting gadhafi's ground forces. but libyan troops have not halted their attacks on
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civilians. cnn's arwa damon is standing by to take us to the front lines. has the u.s. found anyone to take demand of the libya operation right now? what happens if gadhafi remains in power for any extended period of time? i'll ask the president's deputy national security adviser, dennis mcdunna, he's standing by live. and black smoke at a crippled reactor and radioactive tap water in tokyo. we have the latest on japan's nuclear crisis. we'll hear from an american who was inside the nuclear power plant when an earthquake struck. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." allied aircraft now have complete control over the skies over libya. that according to u.s. and coalition military forces. they say gadhafi's forces
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continue to hammer civilian areas. in western libya's rebel-held city of misrata, a witness reports heavy tank fire near a hospital. in the east they're pressing the town of ajdabiya. arwa damon is joining us from the front line. >> reporter: we were just outside of ajdabiya a short time ago. the opposition managed to move forward. now they're just a few miles out. but they continue to get hammered by gadhafi's troops, tanks and artillery. they were telling us air strikes did manage to hit gadhafi's troops stationed at the northern entrance. three tanks were damaged. the problem is the other tanks have been dug into the ground. only jutting out. for some reason they believe the
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aircraft overhead have not been able to spot them just yet. this is really an example of where the battle will go next. if air strikescan not hit the targets, how will the opposition be able to fight back? they appear to be coming better organized. we saw a number of fighters attempting to outflank gadhafi's troops. these are men on the fron line without body armor. they're mostly civilians. one young man had a guitar on one shoulder, a gun on the other and an rpg cradled underneath his arm. zl so they're by no means ready, any time soon, the rebel forces to march on tripoli. >> reporter: that does, if what
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we've seen over the last few days is an indication, that it seems like they're going to take quite, equipment sot for them to reach tripoli. the issue is they don't have the weapons and equipment they're going to need in the face-to-face combat with gadhafi's troops inside the cities out of reach of the air strikes. so they have to quickly figure out how to match the gadhafi military might, how to match the gadhafi troop military expertise. the opposition is hoping that even though their momentum is slow, they're hoping as they gain momentum, more and more civilians will feel emboldened to rise up in their respective cities and towns, rise up against gadhafi's forces. there is the realization that this will be a long and bloody battle. >> we know france formally recognized the opposition as the legitimate government of libya. president obama, secretary of state clinton have authorized
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u.s. officials to be liaisons to talk to this the opposition forces, even though the u.s. does not recognize them as the legitimate government of libya. what evidence do you see of coordination between the u.s., the british, the french, the coalition forces and the opposition forces in terms of military strategy? >> well, just yesterday we were speaking with the opposition forces chief of staff general unis. he was gadhafi's minister of interior. among the senior most officials to have defected when the uprising began. he was in direct contact with the allied forces. they first agreed to the fact if civilians were in an area i shouldn't be argued.
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but they were exchanging information in terms of where the air strikes should be taking place. the opposition notifying them of the troop movement. so a high level of coordination between the opposition's military and those that are conducting the air strike. that's a significant development, wolf. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. thanks very much. the allies may have control over the air over libya, but how do they keep gadhafi's forces from advancing on the ground? i'll speak about that and more with the president's deputy national security adviser dennis mcdunna. he is standing by live. also general wesley clark is standing by as well. other important news on this day. one person killed more than 50 others hurt when a bomb exploded near jerusalem's bus station.
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>> reporter: it was not a happy reminder. it was a site many israelis hoped they had seen the last of. emergency response vehicles raying to the location of a deadly explosion, near a bus in central jerusalem. medical personnel moving wounded patients from the scene. we grabbed our equipment, ran here and saw the situation. and we began to help three people that were in a bad state. one, in a very bad state. police investigators say a small bag with an explosive device was left near a roadside bus stop and exploded as passengers were getting on and off. for israelis, the images brought up painful memories of the
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second palestinian about a decade ago. suicide bombing attacks on buses and other public locations were a regular occurrence. jerusalem's mayor asked for calm from the city's residents. >> the key is to continue with our normal life, normal plans. this will decrease the motivation of people trying to derail or normal life. they will not be successful. >> reporter: the attacks come as tensions between gaza and israel militant groups have been on the rise. dozens of rockets have been launched into israeli cities in recent days, prompting retaliatory strikes for israel that have killed at least ten palestinians since saturday. before departing, the iz roadway lee prime minister benjamin
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netanyahu warned though departing. they have a will of iron to protect the country and its citizens, he told reporters. police have not yet arrested a suspect, but some right wring israeli politicians were quick to lay the blame. the writing was on the wall. the israeli government is living in a make believe word and dealing with a murderous, terrorist authority inciting the murder every day. palestinian authority fiad condemned the attack, describing it as disgraceful. until e cently, israelis were described as an island of stable and an ocean of regional chaos. after today and after events this week, that is a claim that's going to be harder to sustain. >> kevin flower in jerusalem for us. a sharp escalation of violence in syria today.
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15 people consider killed in clashes between security forces and anti-government forces in the southern city of daraa. this amateur video appears to show one confrontation ending in gunfire. watch and listen. this is the sixth straight day of protests in syria, before the latest shootings the u.s. human rights office said security forces had already killed six people. more demonstrations are planned in the area. jack cafferty is coming up next with a cafferty file. then a closer look at moammar gadhafi's forces. what shape are they really in after the coalition attacks? we'll have the latest from the pentagon, plus insight from our cnn contributor, general wesley clark. and the house speaker john boehner challenges president
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obama on libya. we'll get response from the white house. the president's deputy national security adviser. and an american contractor who was at the japanese nuclear power plant when disaster struck recounts his story for us. eve, t ahead. steve: yeah, u i jt afree rate, eve, t ahead. saved a ton, and it only took me 5 minutes and 12 seconds! steve: i was wondering that some sort of record? gecko: that's a good question. e 5 milet's have a look.ds! curtis: mmmm, not quite. someone's got you beat by 8 seconds. cko: still, i mean, at's... that's qui steve: well, what if i told you i only used one hand? anncr: geico. 15 nuco save yor insurance.
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let's get right back to jack. he's got the cafferty file. jack? >> wolf, a senate judiciary sub
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committee led by dick durbin of illinois is going to held a hearing on muslim americans civil rights. aren't they the same as any other rights. this needs our immediate attention at this time. sometimes the people in washington, d.c. can make you want to stick sharp objects in your own eyes. the durbin circus comes week after republican congress peter king's circus. he held congressional hearings on the topic of the radicalization of muslim-americans. those hearings sparked protest and demonstrations. critics said it was a witch hunt. like he doesn't have other more important things to do. these hearings will be the first held by the brand new sub committee on the constitution civil rights, human rights, and
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the law. durbin said he called for the hearings because of a recent uptick in sent michl in the country. it's important to renew the commitment to religious diversity. right. they show hate crimes against muslims account for 9 p.3% of religious hate crimes in the country while more than 70% of religious hate crimes are committed against jews. we have no federal budget, three wars, and we're broke. lovely. here's the question. should the senate hold hearings on muslims' rights in the united states? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> it's an important subject. you know. a lot of people are focusing in on it, jack. >> stop it. >> stop what? >> stop it. they have the same rights as everybody else in the country.
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if they're muslim-americans. it's like catholic-americans, lutheran-americans, baptist-americans. what's the point here? >> they like hearings on capitol hill. >> they have a brand new sub committee. it boggles the mind. >> libya's military is taking a pounding from allied air power. gadhafi had assembled a vast arsenal of sophisticated weapons. how much damage can his forces still do? our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence has been looking into this part of the story. what are you finding out, chris? >> well, wolf a u.s. official is telling us the gadhafi regime seemed somewhat frustrated by the failure to take benghazi. because the rebel group is such a rag tag group, he feels libya's army still has the upper hand. the libyan air force is grounde
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grounded. >> to the points we can operate over his air space with impun y impunity. >> reporter: despite the no-fly zone, libyan forces still have mobile launchers. state tv claims they brought down an american fighter jet monday. u.s. officials say mechanical failure caused the crash of the f-15. before the war, libya had 500 morters. 2,400 pieces of artillery. the ground troops, under 2,000 tanks and armored vehicles. on the phone, a coalition official says some of that is being used in fighting in misrata and ajdabiya. >> tanks, artillery, rocket launchers. >> is that outside of the major cities? misrata? are you noticing those being used inside the cities? >> it is outside. and they are making incursions
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into the cities and targeting the population centers in the cities with that equipment. >> u.s. surveillance planes have seen some attacks by elite units like the 32nd brigade, commanded by gadhafi's own son. >> those forces are fully engaged in the conflict that is attacking those civilian populations. >> an analyst at the national defense university says libya's elite troops get more money, better weapons. >> almost every regime in the middle east has two armies. >> they come from tribes loyal to gadhafi. dedicated to protecting the regime. at most, it's 10,000 men. >> that's why to great extent gadhafi depends on foreign fighters. >> but a u.s. official tells us gadhafi's forces remain relatively well organized. and still able to fight effectively in certain parts of the country. the official says that the
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libyan army still has sort of a diversified command, meaning it's not just being commanded by gadhafi's sons but a number of commanders that are still loyal to the regime. wolf? >> chris, thank you. the house speaker john boehner has written to president obama, sharply questioning the military operation over libya. boehner says he and other house members are concerned the president committed u.s. resources, quote, without clearly defining the mission and the american role. let's go to the white house. dennis mcdonough is joining us now. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. it's a pleasure to be with you. >> it's a detailed letter with specific questions, legitimate questions. i'll ask you a few of them. give us the answer. is it an acceptable outcome for gadhafi to remain in power after the military effort concludes in libya. i also think it's an important opportunity to continue the conversation with the speaker.
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the president had a good meeting with him on friday. we gave him a heads up and talked with it about them on saturday. you'll remember the discussion of a no-fly zone started on capitol hill. we were able to take the idea and expand it to ensure we are degrading gadhafi's forces to turn them back from key cities like benghazi and misrata today where he was threatening to show, as he said, no mercy on his own people. >> so -- >> as it relates to the specific question, wolf, we're not setting out with a policy of regime change here. we set out a very defined goal here, which is, we enable our international partners to take over the no-fly zone. we're on the verge of doing that. importantly over the last couple of days. >> hold on. sorry for interrupting. you said something. you said it's not a policy of regime change.
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how many times has the president said gadhafi must go? >> i haven't counted. maybe you have. >> at least a dozen. >> i take your word for it. >> doesn't that mean regime change if gadhafi must go? >> well, i think you're asking a couple different questions now, wolf. you asked whether it was an acceptable outcome? what we've said is we've set out a very specific goal for our forces, an accomplishable task. because of their great performances, our marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers, because of their efforts, we have turned back the forces from benghazi, we are on the verge of being able to handle the conduct of the no-fly zone. >> but must gadhafi go? >> well, that's going to be a determination for the libyan people to make. >> but the president says he must go. >> i'm not going to improve on the good anxious the president gave yesterday. >> is that u.s. policy still that gadhafi must go? >> well, the president did outline exactly what our policy
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view is. >> and he said gadhafi must go. >> yeah. and he explained to you yesterday. and i'm explaining to you again today that the mission we've set out as it relates to this effort over the last several days has been to shape the environment. to bring hay long international allies so it's not just our troops and our taxpayers investing their resources, but rather the whole world. this isn't just our problem. this is a problem for the world. >> i don't want to be a pest, but if the policy is gadhafi must go, i assume that means regime change, but you said the policy was not regime change. >> i think i was responding to the question you asked from the letter to the speaker, which is another good opportunity to continue the conversation with him. as it relates to whether it's an acceptable outcome, we're not
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pursuing regime change as a result of the military effort. that's been clear since the president addressed it. >> but you are reviewing regime change separate from the military. is that correct? >> we're going to bring a range of assets and efforts and resources to this important policy, wolf. it's not a solely military effort. we're asking the military to do a lot. they're doing it well in japan. in afghanistan and iraq. and now in libya. we have to rely on the allies. we're bringing the allies along. we're relying on the neighbors. then we'll rely on nonmilitary tools as well. >> when does the u.s. hand over leadership responsibilities to someone else? >> that's going to be a kwi of days not weeks. over the last two days we've had
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international non-u.s. planes enforcing the no-fly zone. we also support that had effort. but the fact of the matter is the allies in europe are picking up more and more of the slack to set up the transition. we think that's an important development. >> you think it will be by this weekend? >> i'm not going to try to get into calendars with you on your show this afternoon, wolf. but the president said it's a question of days, not weeks. >> who is paying for this? will you ask for a budget request to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars u.s. taxpayers already spent? >> i'm not sure where you're getting the number hundreds of millions of dollars. that's an exaggeration. >> you know how much a tomahawk missile costs? it's 160 tomahawk cruise missile.
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that's already $160 million. >> so the bottom line is we can carry this out in the context of the existing pentagon budget. we'll konltd to work with that. and as you said, it's obviously a very legitimate set of questions. we think it's a good opportunity to continue the conversation. it's important to bring the country along. obviously the president is solely has this responsibility to deploy the troops overseas. he thinks it's important to bring the congress along on this effort. we'll continue to work closely with the speaker on it. >> what about the idea i have. you've frozen $30 billion in libya's assets here in the united states. keep a running tab, and deduct from that $30 billion, whatever it's costing u.s. taxpayers. is that's a good idea? >> well, we're working with our friends in the region.
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we're going to make sure that everybody who voted to establish a policy like this and after the gulf countries voted to establish a policy like this, we'll be working together with the allies to ensure the burden is shared across the effort. so as to ensure that we have an opportunity. >> libya is aa major exporting country. do they share the burden? >> they would like to send out their oil again. the important thing about the assets is that was an early move that the united states made. we set the money aside because it's not money for president gadhafi and his family but it's money for the libyan people. >> no, but it should be perhaps money if you're going to liberate the country from gadhafi, some of the money could go to pay for that, right? >> you're always full of good
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ideas. i'm not going to get in the position of denigrating them. >> you can denigrate them. i'm not that sensitive. when will the president go before a joint session of congress and explain the military operation? >> the president things it's important to be in regular communication with the congress and the country on it. we're asking a lot of the american people, asking a lot of our troops at the moment. so it's one of the factors that we're went boo the idea of bringing along the community. we shared the burden. the president will continue to do that. >> you think a formal address to this the nation is a good idea? >> it's important for the president to be in constant communication. it's also important to keep our eye on the target in afghanistan. 100,000 of our troops are making
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huge sacrifices away from their family. it's important to highlight the great work they're doing in japan, where they're not only haeping bring the reactor under control, but also bringing food and water and some relief to at lot of japanese in the very difficult time. >> one final question before i let you go. define success in libya. >> well, the president outlined it the other day on friday afternoon when he addressed the country on the issue. he said we're in the official phase. we're covering a unique role for ourselves. we're going to shape the environment. we're going to enable our international partners to take over the conduct of the no-fly zone. we're going to push back gadhafi forces from important cities like benghazi where he was threatening no mercy on his people. because of the fine work of our troops we've been able to accomplish the first goal on benghazi. we're making very good progress in handing over conduct of the no-fly zone to the hall lies. again, we can rely on their resources, on their troops and
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on their taxpayers to finish the job. >> dennis mcdonough, good luck. >> thanks, wolf. >> is a no-fly zone enough when fighting is fierce on the ground? our contributor general wesley clark standing by. and we've just received new pictures taken inside japan's stricken nuclear power plant. we'll hear from an american who was there when the disaster happened. ♪ trouble, trouble trouble, trouble ♪ ♪ trouble been doggin' my soul ♪ since the day i was born ♪ worry ♪ oh, worry, worry worry, worry ♪ [ announcer ] when it comes to things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. take the scary out of life.
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coalition commanders say the allies have little to worry about from libya's air defense systems, but can they halt the ground attacks by gadhafi's forces? let's discuss with our cnn contributor, retired army general wesley clark, the former nato supreme allied commander. thank you for joining us. i hope you had a chance to see my interview with the president's deputy national security adviser. he said flatly regime change is not the u.s. military objective right now. even though the president has
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repeatedly said over the past several weeks that gadhafi must go. do you understand the contradiction if you will? >> i think i do. the national objective of the united states, the policy is gadhafi has to go. that's not the military objective. the military objective is defined by the authorizing resolution that came out of the united nations. normally you would think when military force is applied you would accomplish a decisive police call objective all by yourself. but that's not necessarily the case. in 1999 we did an air operation, as you know and 16 months later he was gone. >> president bill clinton was not repeatedly saying during the operation that he must go. >> was he? >> no, but the point is you have other means rather than
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military. they're trying to limit the military means to that authorized by the united nations. >> if they destroyed the whole libyan air force, let's say they destroyed all the air defense systems, they still have a lot of ground forces. they have tanks, artillery, all sorts of weapons. does the no-fly zone need to be broadened to include, in order to back up the u.n. security council resolution, a no-drive zone as well? >> they have the authority to do that, actually. with any of these threatening forces. can it be done from the air and the altitudes with the number of aircraft overhead? it may take unmanned aerial
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vehicles. it my take attack continues coming in. or going lower to see what's going on on the ground. >> is it time to arm the rebels? >> they're certainly calling for it from everything that i hear. i also think there's a lot of arms around there. this is something that france is going to have to decide going ahead. it's not within the u.n. security council resolution. it would be a lot better if we don't have to arm the rebels to achieve the political objective the president has cited. >> when you sha the political objective, you mean getting rid of gadhafi. >> right. it's very possible, wolf, that the impact of the air campaign here may be strong enough for gadhafi's forces that a majority of them will melt away. people will come back out again
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and take their chances. there is an entry point in libya in the far south. near the border with chad and sudan, in which the mercenaries are still coming in. at some point we're going to take a hard look at that from the air. >> we have a lot more to discuss and we will in the coming days. general, thank you very much. how do you succeed in libya and beat gadhafi's forces without putting boots on the ground? we'll talk about that and get in more detail as well. we'll hear from an american inside the fukushima plant when the earthquake struck in japan. and something you may not know about hollywood legend elizabeth taylor.
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we want to show you mpicturs we've just received from japan. inside the control room of the number one and number two reactors at the stricken power plant. there's also a photo near the entrance of the reactor building showing the damaged interior. meanwhile, cnn's david mattingly has this exclusive report.
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>> it kind of slowed down just a little. then all the sudden it got worse and worse. >> he was in a turbine building attached to daiichi reactor number one. the shaking was so violent he didn't need a translator to know what the japanese workers were shouting. you know run is run. >> did you think you were going to make it out of the building? >> i wasn't sure. >> once outside, he saw cracks in the ground around a plant. and one office building collapsed. he was confident that the reactors were fine. >> to the best of my knowledge, everything shut down when it was supposed to. i was not worried about the reactors. it wasn't long until they were shouting about the massive tsunami, topping the flood wall and hitting the plant. beauty had already run to high ground over a hill and wasn't able to see the wave.
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but he was able to see what it did. and that affected him deeply. >> it just -- it's gone in a matter of seconds. but there's no precursor. no warnings, nothing. other than when it hits. >> he was evacuated to tokyo and within days back in the u.s. his thoughts remain with the workers he left behind in fukushima. >> are they in your minds heros? >> no, sir. i don't know about heros. i would just call them like myself. just workers trying to do the best they can. >> he says he is most concerned for those workers right now and their exposure to radiation. he's watching daily from his home here in louisiana. he says he was scheduled to go back to japan for another job.
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good report, david. appreciate it. we just received word of planes landing at a major american airport without being able to reach the air traffic control tower earlier in the day. lisa sylvester will have details after this. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪ about his future. he can't say social security... much less tell you what it means. he doesn't know that his parents are counting on the money they pay in. or that the hard earned benefits his grandparents receive... are secure.
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there's still no closure for relatives of more than 15,000 people still listed as missing in japan. among them, nearly the entire
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student body of one elementary school. cnn's kyung lah has this very emotional story. >> reporter: for kako, coping with loss comes by denying grief. she stays upbeat for her 6-year-old son ron, silently counting the number of her missing family members. seven or eight she says, from her mother to her other son, 8-year-old koto. he is presumed dead. his body washed away by the tsunami. he was at school. no matter what's happened to him, i just want him back, she says. my child should come home to me. i need to find him. it's a feeling shared by this community, searching for so many young children and mourning a loss that defied life's natural order. when the earthquake happened, students at this elementary evacuated out of the school.
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they had no idea a tsunami was coming. out of 108 students at the school that day, 77 or either dead or missing. that's 70% of the children at the school. only a shell stands where children learned. backpack after backpack sits for parents to retrieve. along with a picture of the school little league team. art bags filled with crayons waiting to be identified and brought home. but there are no homes for these evacuees. there are hardly any children in the shelter. those who survive willed struggle emotionally. aid organizations say they hope to ease the onslaught of the trauma. giving them a place to play inside the evacuation centers. >> to have a sense of safety. and to work with the parents in
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how to support them in the process. it's going to be a long recovery process for children. >> for 8-year-old miko, one of the 30 survivors of the elementary school, it's a relief. a chance to draw something pretty away from the devastation around her. the day ends for kako without any word on her missing son. she will not fall apart, she says. i'm not okay, she says. of course i'm not. but i have another son. ron saw the tsunami. his brother is not coming home. i think he understands. he's pretending to be happy so we don't worry about him. so mother joins and pretends for her son and for herself. kyung lah, cnn, japan. our heart goes out to all the people in japan. we'll have the latest on the situation in libya in just a moment. and much more coming up on john king usa at the top of the hour. plus, a unique look hat the
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extraordinary life of elizabeth taylor. [ male announcer ] escape convention. introducing the most fuel-efficient luxury car available. the radically new 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. welcome to the darker side of green. see your lexus dealer.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, what's going hon? >> hi, wolf. this is a very interesting story out of ronald reagan airport. this happened around 12:10 in the morning eastern time. there was an american airlines flight that was trying to land. they tried to contact the control tower to get permission to land, and they got no response.
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that plane landed safely without incident. and then a few minutes later about 15 minutes later, the same thing happened to a united airlines flight. again, tried to contact the tower. no one was answering them. no one responding to them at the time. there was a controller at the tower, and there are some reports out there that perhaps the controller may have been sleeping at the time. the ntsb is saying at this point only that the controller was unresponsive. the faa is now looking into this incident. we will continue to monitor this situation, and hopefully get more answers, wolf. and in other news, we have new insight also into the cause of the gulf oil disaster. a new report commissioned by the u.s. government says a piece of drill pipe buckled under pressure and got stuck inside the blowout preventer. that kept the device from stopping the flow of oil into the gulf of mexico in what became the worst oil spill in u.s. history. and the faa is investigating
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this incident in which a pilot tried to land his helicopter on the roof of a home in rockport, massachusetts. the landing was aboarded but not before sparking chaos in the neighborhood. off witness says the pilot is the owner of the home that is under construction. >> he just wanted to land on his home. >> apparently that's what it looked like. not a terribly smart idea. he was smart enough to abort that. the faa is looking into why. >> jack cafferty is next with the cafferty file. then jeanne moos on elizabeth taylor larger than life. [ male announcer ] ten people are going to win the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer.
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. vac's back and he has the "the cafferty file."
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>> should the senate hold haerths on muslims' rights in the united states? mark in new jersey says, yes, jack, they should hold hearings then on the rights of protestants, catholics, jews, the latter-day saints as well as atheists and agnostiagnostics, be a good excuse not to do anything about the bank, lobbyists, climate change or job creation. stephanie writes when jews are subjected to more hate crimes in the u.s. than muslims, it is odd for them to have hearings except to score political points and get a specific group's identify log. ralph writes, this makes as much sense as the french wanting a committee to run the war in libya. brad writes, i think they should have hearings on what the tsa is doing to the rights of all of us. hasn't the government done such a great job of promoting
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diversity as it is or are we all hoping for another 4,000 federal laws to be promulgated. why don't we tell congress and the president to stop minding our business? paul in ontario, i thought everybody in america had the same rights, or are the rules about to change? lou writes, seriously, nothing more important to do? aren't they still working on last year's budget. if they worked for me i would have fired them a long time ago for failure to complete a task. oh, wait, they do work for me and connor in illinois writes, muslim rights. what the hell does that mean? they're citizens, end of story. they have the same rights as me, period. want to read more, go to computer cnn.com/caffertyfile. >> good points. protestant, muslim, hindu, we're all americans. >> and dick durbin is the one organizing this thing and i think it's just silly. he just wants to get his name in the paper and got his name in
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"the cafferty file" so maybe that will suffice. >> see you tomorrow. >> be good. >> thanks very much. we'll have live reports from libya coming up at the top of the hour on "john king, usa." stand by for that but up next, cnn's jeanne moos on the life and the legend of elizabeth taylor. [ male announcer ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. ♪ let nothing stand in your way. what are you looking at? logistics. ben? the ups guy? no, you see ben, i see logistics. logistics?
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the life and work of elizabeth taylor. in 1961 the actress assumes one of her most famous role, "cleopatra." in 2001 she flashes her famous violet eyes at an aids charity dinner in venice and appears with michael jackson here at the american music awards in los angeles. in 1948, the 16-year-old, elizabeth taylor feeds birds in london's trafalgar square. she truly was a celebrity of the highest, highest order. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: in recent years we saw her like this but remembered her like this. >> the cat is alive! i'm alive. >> reporter: alive no longer. the news interrupted daytime chat shows. >> grown-ups who have a job. >> unfortunately we have just confirmed that elizabeth taylor has died. >> reporter: sometimes the famous like larry king.
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>> she had purple eyes. they were not blue. they were purple. >> reporter: remarked on the same things as the not famous. >> i wish i could have seen her eyes in person. >> reporter: barbara walters had plenty of memories. >> gorgeous face but the words that chaim out of that mouth. >> reporter: she played some of her famous interview moments like the time she asked the what would you like on your tombstone question? >> here lies liz, she lived. now i don't like liz, i hate that name. here lies elizabeth. she hated being called liz. but she lived. >> reporter: lived through seven husbands and though she married richard burton twice, the press still wanted them together again even after they were through. >> are you still in love? >> next question. >> reporter: she had been in poor health for years. obituaries were written and
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waiting. waiting so long that the theater critic who wrote taylor's "the new york times" obit died himself almost six years ago. his obit for her was published posthumously. younger folks seemed relatively unfazed by taylor's death. >> yeah, it's sad. >> do you have a favorite liz taylor moment? >> i don't. >> reporter: they tend to remember her as the aging celebrity walking with michael jackson rather than the megamovie star she was. she even signed her name with the flourishes of a diva when blindfolded panelists try to the identify her on "what's my line?" and described her skrois. >> might you be described as a glamour girl. >> well, that's mighty kind of you, i do declare. >> is your husband michael wilding? >> oh, he sure is. >> then you must be beautiful elizabeth taylor. >> reporter: that title the beautiful elizabeth taylor followed her like the whiff of one of her